What if…

I was chatting with a friend yesterday about work. We graduated in the same year (2013) and both of us started working after that. We compared stories about our first jobs – yep, we had already moved on to different places in the three years we’ve been out of college – and about the work environment we started in.

It’s weird to transition out of college. I was going from scattered days of classes, homework, organizations, and parties to a regimented schedule of  work, home, sleep, repeat. My friend and I both had different first-job experiences, some good and some bad, but then we both learned that some weird act of fate brought us to the job we’re currently in. He happened to be at the right place at the right time, and I happened to know the right person who knew the right person. It got me thinking a lot about fate, timing, and coincidences.

Even looking at the past four years – just before I graduated college – I realize a lot of my life has been decided by fate or coincidence. Of course, this isn’t unique to me. So many people out there wouldn’t be where they are if it hadn’t been for a success, tragedy, or just some weird timing, but I realize that my life path had so many forks in the road already, and I’m only a few years out of college.

If I hadn’t won a scholarship at Geneseo, I wouldn’t have been invited to a Gratitude Gathering.

If I hadn’t been at that event, I wouldn’t have disclosed my desire to work in marketing to the Web Communications Manager at Geneseo.

If I hadn’t told her about myself, she wouldn’t have offered me an internship opportunity.

If I didn’t get that internship, I wouldn’t have realized that this was a job I wanted, and would have gone to grad school.

If I didn’t have that internship experience, I wouldn’t have applied and ultimately gotten my first job at Genesee Community College.

If I didn’t work there, I would have never learned about Merit – in Albany.

If I never learned about Merit, I would have never applied, and ultimately moved to the capital district.

If I never moved, I wouldn’t have ever considered working at Skidmore, yet here I am.

It’s SO weird to think about this chain of events, and realize that I’m still in the middle of it. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be whisked away by aliens who happen to touch down in the Saratoga area, or I’ll find a $100 bill on the street – who knows. Timing is such a funny thing.

I’m a planner. I try really hard to plan out my day, my week, and really anything I possibly can. I like to have control over what I can…and I try to control things I know I can’t. It makes me crazy, but that’s just the way my brain is wired. I’ve always known that I can’t control everything about my future, and that’s terrifying to me.

It’s scary but true – we can’t control much about our future. People and other external factors flow in and out of our lives, leaving an impression and shifting our course without us even knowing. What if I was sick the day of that event at Geneseo because my roommate got the flu from her sister who got it from their cousin? You never know.

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